Many people think outsourcing is only something online entrepreneurs do, but the truth is, almost any company can outsource at least some of their operations. In fact, if you own a brick and mortar business, your life can get pretty hectic at times. And hiring individuals outside your company to take care of some of the most tedious operations can be a big time and sanity saver.
What is outsourcing?
Entrepreneur defines outsourcing as “The practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them. Functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual.” While the practice is a growing trend among online entrepreneurs, it’s also becoming an important action in the corporate world.
What jobs can be outsourced?
Almost any job can be outsourced, but the most common are the jobs that don’t need to be completed on-site. For example, many people hire ecommerce accountants for their online stores. This is the perfect type of job to outsource because it’s not someone you have to deal with on a daily basis. They don’t have to have any hands-on interaction with your company in order to fulfill their duties. Other popular jobs to outsource include personal assistants, web designers, sales, and customer support.
But online jobs aren’t the only types of jobs that can be outsourced. Take for example, a used car lot. Their business may benefit from hiring someone else to scout for salvage cars rather than searching for them themselves. A boutique might also hire an independent contractor to shop for wholesale clothing for them.
How does outsourcing save money?
Outsourcing can save companies thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the type of jobs they use it for. For one thing, you don’t have to put the individual you outsource on a full-time salary. You can hire them freelance, or just as needed, to do their job. More importantly, you don’t have to offer them benefits as you probably do for your full-time employees. Many people who do this type of work do it as independent contractors, so they don’t expect the same perks as in-house staff.
Additional benefits of outsourcing
Saving money may be the biggest benefit of outsourcing, but it’s certainly not the only one. One thing to consider is that by hiring outside contractors, you’ll have access to a larger talent pool. With no location limits, you can hire an IT professional in Brazil when you didn’t have any decent applicants in your own city. It also makes these professionals easier to find. In today’s gig economy, there are tons of online resources where you can find talented workers. Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are just a few examples of such marketplaces. The point of outsourcing jobs is to free yourself up to do the main things you are good at.
How to outsource successfully
There are a few potential pitfalls that can come along with freelancing that you should be aware of before you decide to use it. For example, if you have an in-house employee, you can be relatively sure they are meeting deadlines, or at least be aware of what is going on. But if your employee is a continent away, or even in the next county, you always run the risk of them skipping out on the job and not being able to get in touch with them.
Avoiding getting burned by independent contractors should be your goal when you set out to hire them. And there are several ways you can do this. First of all, don’t outsource too soon if you’re bootstrapping a company. It’s important to know exactly what the job entails before you ask someone else to do it. Then, research your potential hires as much as you can. Check online reviews, consider their social media interaction, and gauge their reputation.